My chiropractor is fond of telling me things like, "Oh, your body is SO amazing," and, "Your body is powerful." She says it with gusto that tells me she passionately believes what she is saying. I sent her an email letting her know how my vein surgery went on Thursday and her response included, "You are an amazing healer." When she says things like that to me, I usually roll my eyes (not when she's looking, of course...because it would clearly be disrespectful to do it to her face). I think to myself, "This body? Are you talking to me? I'm not sure because I've got my head face-down in this weird chiropractic bed and maybe you're touching me but talking to somebody who's walking past outside. Because me? I do NOT have an amazing body. Let me tell you about it..." and then I think about all of the things I dislike about my body.
But let me tell you something. My chiropractor is right. Because, people, two days ago there was a laser INSIDE my leg burning at some ridiculous temperature. And now I'm fine. Well, almost fine. Bruised but walking. And healing.
Let's not beat around the bush -- that first evening, about eight hours after the surgery, my leg was sore. Of course, I wasn't kind to myself after the surgery. I ran up and down the stairs as I filled my watering can to water the tomatoes growing down in my basement. Then I sat at my desk and filled out my students' grades, with my leg below me, pooling blood I'm sure. I walked to and from a neighbor's house to pick up my kids. I walked around campus to deliver my grades and return some keys. I parked halfway between the library and Safeway and walked from my car in a giant triangle to get my errands done. Then I drove Brynn to the other side of the city (AKA: Kansas) to a birthday party and wandered around Costco while I waited for the party to end. By that time I was starting to feel it. I was leaning on the gigantic Costco shopping cart and limping. And when I got home all I could do was sit on the sofa with my leg on the coffee table and watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy (which was fabulous, by the way). In other words, I ran around like nothing big had happened Thursday morning when, in reality, I'd had a laser in my leg. A laser. Inside my leg. How crazy is that?
Yesterday it was still a little sore, more sore as the day went on and as I spent more time standing. And today, two days after surgery...I can feel it healing. I can feel it. You know that kind of itchy feeling you get when something's healing? I can feel that. Inside my leg. Especially near my knee where my vein was the worst and down by the incision point on my calf and up near my groin. Those are the places where I feel it healing. I can walk with barely a limp.
Yesterday was the girls' rehearsal for their ballet recital and tonight was their recital. Last night I was limping around the front of the stage trying to get some good shots of my girls dancing. And the other moms were going, "What happened to you?" Ah, you know...just minor surgery. Yesterday. And tonight more than one mom said, "Whoa, you look better. You're almost walking normally." Yeah, I wasn't faking yesterday. It's unbelievable.
On the way home from the recital tonight, Brynn asked me, "Oh, Mom, I've been meaning to ask you, how is your leg feeling?" And oh, did I ever jump on that teachable moment. "It's feeling really good, Brynn, thanks for asking. You know, God made our bodies with the power to heal and, if we treat our bodies well and feed them right, our bodies are really good at healing." Of course Callie asked, "You mean blood comes out and makes it all better?" Um...well...that's what they thought in the Middle Ages. It was called bloodletting. "Well, God made our bodies so that they can fix themselves, and sometimes we bleed a little. You know, like when you get a cut -- you put some Neosporin on it and a band-aid and before you know it, your skin is putting itself back together. What if you broke a rock, would it put itself back together again?" A chorus of "Noooooh" answered me. And then, of course, "But you can't break a rock, Mom." And I responded, "Well, if you hit it hard with hammer you could. And it would stay broken, right? But God made our bodies with the power to heal. I'm not telling my leg, 'Leg, get better.' It's getting better because it was made to get better. " Silence.
They were thinking.
And so am I. About what an amazing thing it is to live in a body that knows how to heal. I love the power of the human body.